Spree’s been making messes around here for 2 years now! That deserves something. It’s not a huge anniversary – no reason to go hog-wild. Let’s keep it simple, very simple. That suits Spree best. Jeans, soft sweaters and comfy shoes. Bring a dish of comfort if you like but nothing more. We’ll have lots to eat and drink. We’ll build fires, sit on quilts and wait for Spring to come. We’ll watch the birds eating just outside the windows and we’ll look close at crocus pushing up the dirt. We’ll eat savory popcorn and watch old movies. We’ll tell each other stories and laugh til our sides ache. We’ll roll the rugs back and dance (like the winter-weary but happy fools we are.) We’ll rest our heads on each other’s shoulders and maybe nod off a time or two. And then before you leave for home again, we’ll have little lemony tartlets, so that everyone can have their own, and
Spree will have 2.
A two-part dessert that’s easy as pie:
Little Lemon Curd Tartlets
In a Gingersnap Crust
(makes 1 pint)
Lemons - 2 or 3
Sugar - ½ cup
Eggs – 3 – lightly beaten
Unsalted Butter - ½ cup (4 oz/125g)
Optional: Lemon Extract - ½ teaspoon
Cut the butter into small cubes. Finely grate the zest of one lemon. Set aside and cover. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze enough juice to measure 1/3 cup.
Place a non-reactive, heat-proof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water. Be certain that the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Add the lemon juice, sugar, and eggs (lightly beaten) to the bowl and whisk or stir continuously. Add the butter, a few small cubes at a time, allowing each addition to melt before adding the next. Continue stirring until all the butter has been incorporated and the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. (10 – 15 minutes)
Pour the curd into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl and stir until the silky lemony pudding has made its way to the bowl below. Stir in the zest (and lemon extract if you like – I do) and then set aside to cool.
makes 4 tartlet shells
I used a store-bought gingersnaps for this crust – and (weird that I am) I counted them so that I could tell you it will take 20 cookies to make 4 tartlet shells. Of course that will depend on the size of the cookie, but the standard shelf brand in the US measures out that way. But if you have a kitchen scale, it’s a snap.
Gingersnap crumbs – 1¾ cups (5 oz/155g)
Unsalted Butter – 5 Tablespoons
All-purpose Flour - ¼ cup
Optional - Powdered Ginger - ½ teaspoon
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and butter four 4½ inch tartlet pans with removable bottoms.
In a food processor, combine the gingersnap crumbs and flour; drop in the butter. Pulse until the butter is evenly distributed and the mixture begins to clump together. (It’s unlikely, but is dependent on your brand of snap – if the mixture is too “dusty” and doesn’t cling together, add another pat of butter.) Remove the mixture from the processor, divide into 4 equal parts, and press into the pans – first onto the bottom and secondly up the sides. Read more